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Site Report: Bear Creek RRS Equipment Bldg SS004

Site Name: Bear Creek RRS Equipment Bldg SS004
Address: 9 Miles NE of Tanana, Tanana, AK 99777
File Number: 780.38.002.03
Hazard ID: 772
Status: Cleanup Complete
Staff: ,
Latitude: 65.253563
Longitude: -151.923980
Horizontal Datum:WGS84

We make every effort to ensure the data presented here is accurate based on the best available information currently on file with DEC. It is therefore subject to change as new information becomes available. We recommend contacting the assigned project staff prior to making decisions based on this information.


The Bear Creek Radio Relay Station was constructed in 1956-1957, and operated between 1959 and 1979. Soil contaminated by PCBs discovered in 1983, and vandalism of transformers caused oil leakage in 1984. Approximately 300 gallons of PCB fluid removed from site in 1981. Cleanup of PCB contaminated soil performed in 1984, 1985, and in the mid-1990s. Other possible contaminants include petroleum products, and halogenated/non-halogenated solvents of unknown quantities. EPA ID#AK4570028619. Archived file 780.23.001 not found. Possible road oiling in Tanana with oils containing PCBs. Statements in project file regarding occurrences of rashes from road oil and cancer. 100 square feet of soil cleaned up to <15 ppm PCBs in 1985. Vandalism, 1985 cleanup, and presence of solvents unsubstantiated by information in file. State has selected land. IRP site SS004. No groundwater present on site. The site is well drained, therefore surface water and sediment are not considered present. Formerly the surface soil on the west side of the equipment building was contaminated with PCBs at very high concentration. Several cleanups performed in the 1980s and 1990s removed this contaminated soil. Subsequent surface and subsurface soil sampling conducted during the Remedial Investigation did not document any contamination that exceeded cleanup levels. There is unlimited access to the site by people and wildlife. Local residents are known to frequent the area, and moose droppings have been found within 10 feet of the spill area. The site is assigned a HIGH overall risk on the Air Force Relative Risk Evaluation Worksheet dated 9/11/95

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
7/1/1981 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). Air Force removed approximately 300 gallons of PCB fluid from site sometime in July 1981. No Longer Assigned
6/1/1983 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). PCB contaminated soil discovered and partial cleanup performed in summer of 1983. No Longer Assigned
2/29/1984 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). F. Madison of Bureau of Indian Affairs obtained surface water, soil, and whitefish tissue samples from Bear Creek. No PCBs were detected by laboratory analyses. No Longer Assigned
7/1/1985 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). Further cleanup of PCB contaminated soil. No Longer Assigned
4/1/1989 Preliminary Assessment Approved "IRP Preliminary Assessment, Bear Creek Radio Relay Station, Alaska" report dated April, 1989 concludes that small quantities of hazardous materials were used at the facility. No evidence of contamination was visible at the time of the site visit, but buried drums and waste liquids may have been disposed of at the site. Floor drains at the vehicle maintenance shop may be connected to a dry well. No Longer Assigned
1/18/1991 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Initial ranking. No Longer Assigned
6/16/1992 Preliminary Assessment Approved Reviewed Preliminary Assessment report dated 1989 and conducted complete file review to prepare for site visit. Laura Noland
7/16/1992 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RECN - Site Reconnaissance (CS)). Conducted site inspection with Air Force personnel. Contamination issues noted include floor drains in two vehicle maintenance buildings and possible TPH contamination near bulk fuel tanks. No obvious soil stains. Laura Noland
8/24/1992 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RAPR - Remedial Action Plan Review (CS)). Reviewed Draft Field Sampling Plan and QA/QC for Bear Creek RRS dated August 1992 completed by ENSR Consulting and Engineering. Requested that downgradient stream sediment be sampled. Laura Noland
6/28/1993 Interim Removal Action Approved Received PCB sample results which indicate up to 1,000 ppm PCB found near the doorway of the Equipment Building. ADEC informed Air Force that either an emergency removal and/or warning signs would need to be pursued. Laura Noland
6/30/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = SI - Site Investigation). Received "Final Site Inspection of the Bear Creek radio Relay station at Tanana, Alaska dated June 1993. Inspection conducted by ENSR for Air Force. Laura Noland
7/1/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = SI - Site Investigation). Received Final Site Inspection of the Bear Creek Radio Relay Station at Tanana, Alaska. Laura Noland
8/13/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = SI - Site Investigation). Conducted review of Final Site Inspection report. Laura Noland
11/30/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = NFA - No Further Action Required (CERCLA)). ADEC did not close site, but EPA determined facility is No Further Action based on HRS ranking. Laura Noland
1/25/1994 Site Added to Database PCBs. No Longer Assigned
5/27/1994 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RPL2 - Site Information Request Letter). Sent PRP-CS Database Notification Letter to RP requesting update and more environmental information concerning contaminated site. Jeff Peterson
3/28/1996 Meeting or Teleconference Held ADEC staff Kris M., Laura N., Tamar S. met with Jill Chounard regarding demolition/ onsite landfill for disposal of demolition debris at site. There is one identified PCB hot spot for which contaminated debris and soil will be excluded from landfill. After demolition/landfilling, contaminated sites issues will be addressed. Tamar Stephens
3/24/1997 Update or Other Action Site updated by Shannon and Wilson, based on the Air Force Relative Risk Evaluation Worksheets dated 9/11/95. Individual IRP sites assigned separate Reckey numbers. See Comments field on the Problem/Comments Tab for a list of Reckey numbers. S&W
6/1/1998 Site Characterization Workplan Approved RI performed at facility. Patrice Buck
1/19/1999 Update or Other Action Revised Draft Conceptual Site and Risk Assessment Work Plan reviewed. Patrice Buck
11/1/1999 Update or Other Action Received draft Proposed Plan sent letter 12/10/99. Patrice Buck
12/1/1999 Risk Assessment Report Approved Staff review RI report and approved RA. Patrice Buck
12/20/1999 Update or Other Action Response to Draft Proposed Plan for the Bear Creek RRS. Action entered by Sarah Riddle. Patrice Buck
3/2/2001 Update or Other Action Response to Draft Proposed Plan for the Bear Creek RRS, Version 2. Action entered by Sarah Riddle. Patrice Buck
2/26/2002 Update or Other Action Response to Draft Proposed Plan for the Bear Creek RRS, Version 3. Action entered by Sarah Riddle. Patrice Buck
3/11/2002 Update or Other Action Response to Draft Proposed Plan for the Bear Creek RRS, Version 4. Action entered by Sarah Riddle. Patrice Buck
3/26/2002 Proposed Plan Staff approved a Proposed Plan for four sites at top camp (LF01, SS02, SS03, and SS04). Public meeting is schedule for April 22, 2002 in Tanana. It has been determined that there is no complete migration to groundwater pathway at the top camp. Contamination levels sampled in the 1998 RI did not exceed the Method 2 inhalation and ingestion levels with the exception of 1.2 ppm PCB level in LF02. The Air Force is proposing to re-grade and re-seed the area to preserve the cap and conduct LTM at LF01. Patrice Buck
3/28/2002 Update or Other Action Response to Draft Community Relations Plan for the Bear Creek RRS. Approval expected after comments addressed. Action entered by Sarah Riddle. Patrice Buck
9/11/2002 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff attended a Tribal Government to Government meeting in Tanana. Present at the meeting were Alaska Area Native Health Service (AANHS), Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Air Force 611th, FAA, EPA, Corps of Engineers, and tribal members and their consultants. In June 2002, some of these agencies met with the Tanana Tribal Council (not including DEC) to discuss an Interagency Tribal Coordinated Environment Agreement. The document had been revised from the first meeting and the Tribe requested comments on this draft by 9/30/02. A teleconference is schedule for 10/18/02 to discuss revisions. A goal of signing the document by12/1/02 was set. The purpose of the agreement is for various agencies to work together in identifying sources, to develop environmental profiles and assessment reports, and identify multi-phase corrective actions. Staff is reviewing four decision documents and public comments to the proposed plan. Patrice Buck
10/4/2002 Update or Other Action Review of draft Decision Document received August 28, 2002. Comments provided. Action entered by Sarah Riddle Patrice Buck
1/29/2003 Update or Other Action DEC sent e-mail with comment on Cumulative Risk Tech Memo. Error included including arsenic (since it is background) and use industrial levels. Request the memo be resubmitted. Patrice Buck
5/21/2003 Update or Other Action Recieved revised DDs. They are lacking revision suggested in previous comments. Patrice Buck
6/5/2003 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on a second version of Draft Decision Documents for three sites at the top camp. The Air Force proposes No Further Remedial Action Planned (NFRAP) at two sites and Long Term Monitoring at the old un-permitted landfill. The decision documents need to give more detail on how institutional controls will be implemented. Patrice Buck
7/25/2003 Update or Other Action Staff meet with Air Force and their consultant do discuss changes in draft decision document for LF04. Changes in this decision document will be incorporated into the other three pending decision document for SS02, SS03, and SS04 and re-submitted for review Patrice Buck
4/28/2005 Meeting or Teleconference Held DEC attended a meeting with the Air Force and their contractors discussing a work plan for 2005 site characterization. This field work will be for the few remaining Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites that require further action. The Air Force is also hoping to create Decision Documents for other IRP sites at the facility that were drafted previously, but never completed. These IRP sites are presumed to require no further remedial action. DEC agreed that the scope of work for 2005 was appropriate, and will review historical work to ensure that the Air Force’s assessment of which sites require further remedial action is correct. Colin Craven
7/13/2005 GIS Position Updated Location of former radio relay facility corrected by USGS map interpolation. Colin Craven
7/22/2005 Update or Other Action DEC participated a site visit with the Air Force and their contractors. The main purpose of the visit was to inspect three new IRP sites where additional site characterization will occur this August, and to meet with the Tanana Tribal Council to present the plans for the site characterization. The cap and revegetation at the site demolition landfill on the hilltop of the former relay station appeared to be in good condition. Colin Craven
7/28/2005 Site Characterization Workplan Approved Meetings with the Air Force and its contractors resolved all comments and questions on the draft work plan. Field work should begin in early August 2005. Colin Craven
3/1/2007 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking. Lisa Maserjian
11/15/2007 Update or Other Action A Draft ROD was submitted to the Department for the Yukon River POL, Vehicle Maintenance Shop, Fuel Storage Area, Equipment Building, and Barrel Storage Area, DEC has reviewed the draft ROD and will provide comments. 1998 Post excavation soil sample results from the Equipment Bldg site are summarized in the ROD. All contaminants were < 1/10th the Ingestion or Inhalation cleanup level except RRO which was detected at 3,900 mg/Kg, PCBs at 0.12 mg/Kg (below the method reporting limit) and arsenic at 16.5 mg/Kg (believed to be naturally occuring). The ROD concludes that no further action is required at the Equipment Bldg. Kim DeRuyter
12/10/2007 Update or Other Action A preliminary conceptual site model for the Bear Creek RRS can be found in section 7 of the September 1999 Final Remedial Investigation Report. Kim DeRuyter
5/12/2008 Site Visit Staff attended a site visit and meeting in Tanana with the Air Force and Paug Vik contractors. The cap over the former equipment building site was revegetated with grass, and there were no signs of erosion. Kim DeRuyter
9/16/2008 Update or Other Action DEC sent comments to the Draft/Final ROD. The ROD included SS002 the Vehicle Maintenance Shop, SS003, the Fuel Storage Area, SS004 the Equipment Building, SS006 the Barrel Storage Area, and SS008 the POL Site by the yukon River. Residual soil contamination at these sites is below risk based levels. The completion of the Draft/Final ROD was delayed while DEC revised the Site Closure Proceedures and Policy Guidance. The remedial action objective for the sites is no further action. The site status will change to cleanup complete with no institutional controls upon signature of the Final ROD. Kim DeRuyter
11/20/2008 Update or Other Action In response to DEC comments to the Bear Creek Radio Relay Station Draft Record of Decision, the Air Force project manager conducted a records search and discovered a draft report which had not been included in the administrative file. The report describes a 1997 remedial action conducted to remove polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated soil at the Bear Creek Equipment Building (site SS004). The sample results confirm that the excavation only targeted PCB concentrations greater than 10 parts per million. The Air Force estimates that 300 cubic yards of soil with PCB concentrations up to 10 ppm remain at the site. The Equipment Building site will be removed from the Record of Decision. Remedial action to address this site will be complicated by the 18 inch soil cap that was placed over the site following the PCB excavation. Kim DeRuyter
1/8/2009 Update or Other Action Updated initial site ranking due to the recently received information indicating that PCB contaminated soil below 10 mg/kg remains at the site. Kim DeRuyter
1/8/2009 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 71751 Equipment Building. Kim DeRuyter
1/30/2009 Update or Other Action Received the Final ROD, this site was removed from the ROD due to the newly discovered PCB soil contamination. Kim DeRuyter
3/26/2010 Proposed Plan The PP for the Equipment Building was received. The proposed plan mentions an Interim removal action conducted in 1997. The report was not published in the Admin record, so a copy was requested and received on March 29, 2010. The IR report indicates that PCB confirmation results from the 1997 removal action were below 10 ppm. The plan indicates that the Air Force will maintain a cap on the site and implement institutional controls to inform the public of the residual subsurface PCB contamination. Periodic inspections and reporting will be required. Kim DeRuyter
5/25/2010 Meeting or Teleconference Held DEC attended a public meeting facilitated by the USAF in Tanana. Approximately 17 people from the community were present. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the community to project proposals for each of the LF01 and SS004 sites. The preferred alternative presented was to maintain Institutional Controls and monitoring of the soil cap. The community representatives who spoke objected to this alternative and supported excavation of all PCB contaminated soil. Several community members present suggested concern over instability of a soil cap at the landfill associated with the Equipment Building. The existence of other potential dump sites nearby containing possible non hazardous waste and acid was mentioned. The USAF reemphasized their responsibility in maintaining the soil caps. The USAF stated that following the public comment period ending June 12, a ROD will be drafted with consideration to community concerns. DEC commented on regulations regarding disposal of PCB contaminated soil. Meghan Dooley
5/25/2010 Site Visit DEC participated in a site visit with USAF representatives and their contractors. SS004 appeared to be vegetated for the most part with grasses. A pipeline, purpose and source unknown, was exposed and appeared to be leading toward the equipment building from under the berm. Meghan Dooley
1/19/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC received the draft ROD for the Equipment Building SS004 on December 16, 2010 and sent comments on January 19, 2011. The ROD recommends Alternative 3: Excavation and offiste disposal of PCB contaminated soils. Meghan Dooley
4/14/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other The draft final ROD was reviewed and comments sento n this date. ADEC had minor comments, but becuase DRO is being left in place at the site above cleanup levels, the Air Force will have to document in property records the existence of the contamination so that the future landowner can be notified in the event that the land use is changed. Meghan Dooley
6/20/2011 CERCLA RI Plan Approved DEC received the proposed remedial investigation / removal action on April 7, 2011 and sent comments on April 21 and June 12. Comments were responded to on May 31 and June 16. DEC determined the comment responses to be adequate and sent an approval letter for the work plan on June 20, 2011. The Air Force plans to excavate PCB contaminated soil to 1 ppm. Meghan Dooley
9/6/2011 CERCLA ROD Approved The Record of Decision for the Equipment Building was signed. The ROD calls for removal and offsite disposal of PCB contaminated soil. Petroleum contaminated soil will also be removed along with the PCB contamination. The site will be cleaned up to concentrations acceptable for unrestricted use. DEC provided a conditional approval to the ROD that states if petroleum contamination remains at the site, institutional controls or further action may be required. Meghan Dooley
5/2/2012 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC received the draft RI/RA work plan addendum. The work plan will address remaining PCB and petroleum contamination at the site by delineating the extent of contamination and disposing contaminated soil offsite. Meghan Dooley
4/4/2013 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC received the Remedial Investigation/Removal Action Report for the Equipment Building site on February 26, 2013 and sent comments on April 4, 2013. Approximately 780 cubic yards of PCB and petroleum contaminated soil was removed from the site during the 2012 field season. Meghan Dooley
7/23/2013 CERCLA Remedial Action Completion Report ADEC approved the responses to comments on the RI/RA Report for the Equipment Building SS004 site. The responses will be incorporated into a final document and submitted to ADEC. All remaining PCB-contaminated soil with concentrations greater than 1 mg/kg has been removed and disposed of off site. The excavation was backfilled with clean material and re-seeded. Meghan Dooley
12/10/2013 CERCLA Remedial Action Completion Report ADEC had a question regarding DRO analysis reported in the Final 2012 Bear Creek RRS RI/RA Report for SS004. The response to the question was reviewed and deemed satisfactory; ADEC issued an approval of the final report. Meredith Savage
12/10/2013 Update or Other Action ADEC determined the SS004 Closure Report as Final. All known contamination at the site has been removed or reduced to levels below ADEC Method Two cleanup levels; current conditions allow for unlimited site use and unrestricted exposure. Meredith Savage
12/26/2013 Report or Workplan Review - Other Received the Bear Creek Radio Relay Station, SS004 Closure Report, Final, December 2013. Meredith Savage
12/27/2013 Update or Other Action ADEC issued final approval of Bear Creek RRS SS004 Closure Report, Final, December 2013. Meredith Savage
7/9/2015 Cleanup Complete Determination Issued DEC reviewed and approved the final Remedial Investigation/Removal Action Report for SS004 - Former Equipment Building, on December 10, 2013. PCB contaminated soil at the site was removed and confirmation sampling demonstrated the 1 mg/kg PCB cleanup level was achieved. The cleanup was completed in accordance with the May 2011 Record of Decision for the site. No further investigation or cleanup are required, unless new information becomes available that indicates contaminants at the site may pose an unacceptable risk. John Halverson
7/9/2015 Institutional Control Record Removed Institutional Controls have been removed. Meredith Savage

Contaminant Information

Name Level Description Media Comments
PCBs - Total < Method 2 Most Stringent Soil PCB contaminated soil was removed to less than 1 mg/kg.

Control Type

Type Details
No ICs Required


Description Details
Advance approval required to transport soil or groundwater off-site.
Movement or use of contaminated material (including on site) in a manner that results in a violation of the water quality standards is prohibited (18 AAC 70)

Missing Location Data

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